Keynote Speakers

Please welcome our Keynote speakers (in alphabetical order of surname). 

   Kirsty Fairclough

Kirsty Fairclough is Professor of Screen Studies and Head of Research and Inovation at the School of Digital Arts (SODA) at Manchester Metropolitan University and a passionate advocate for Manchester and its world leading cultural output.  She is the current Chair of Manchester Jazz Festival, Manchester's longest running music festival. 

Kirsty’s current research areas include the audio-visual mediation of popular culture, celebrity studies and popular music with an emphasis on the life and legacy of Prince. Kirsty has published widely on popular culture and is the co-editor of Prince and Popular Culture, The Music Documentary: Acid Rock to Electropop, The Arena Concert: Music, Media and Mass Entertainment and Music/Video: Forms, Aesthetics, Media. and author of the forthcoming Beyoncé: Celebrity Feminism and Popular Culture. 

Kirsty’s work has been published widely and she is a regular commentator on popular culture featuring on BBC News, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Manchester, and in The Guardian and Creative Review amongst others. Kirsty works closely with a number of cultural organisations in the UK and is the co-curator of Sound and Vision: Pop Stars on Film and the curator of In Her View: Women Documentary Filmmakers film seasons at HOME, Manchester.

 Nicole Logan

Nicole is Head of Development and Executive Producer for multi-award winning production company Reduced Listening.  She is also the Founder of the collective, Dutchie Club, which champions the stories and creativity of Black women and Non-Binary people.

Nicole spent her early career working across Television and Theatre for some of the UK’s well-known production companies and networks, before specialising in audio production. Nicole has worked with some of the UK's leading arts institutions including; ATG, BBC 1, ITV, BBC 1Xtra, BBC Sounds, Spotify and Roundhouse London.  

Breaking down cultural and institutional barriers has always been a part of Nicole’s professional journey and she is currently serving on the boards of diversity and inclusion media charity, Multitrack and Bloomsbury Arts Festival. As well as serving as a head judge for the Audio Production Awards and on the committee of the 2024 Audio Radio Industry Awards. 

   Mark Steadman

Mark Steadman has been making podcasts since 2008 and has helped hundreds of podcasters get their start. He founded the media hosting company Podiant in 2016 which he sold in 2021. In 2018 Mark co-created the Bullseye category of the British Podcast Awards, and works with best-selling authors, TV personalities, and thought-leaders to help them use their voice to build trust.